MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library



    Assessing the value of Microwave Sounding Unit–radiosonde comparisons in ascertaining errors in climate data records of tropospheric temperatures


    Mears, Carl A. and Wentz, Frank J. and Thorne, Peter (2012) Assessing the value of Microwave Sounding Unit–radiosonde comparisons in ascertaining errors in climate data records of tropospheric temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (D19103). ISSN 0148-0227

    [img]
    Preview
    Download (1MB) | Preview


    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...



    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Abstract

    Multidecadal-scale changes in atmospheric temperature have been measured by both radiosondes and the satellite-borne microwave sounding unit (MSU). Both measurement systems exhibit substantial time varying biases that need to removed to the extent possible from the raw data before they can be used to assess climate trends. A number of methods have been developed for each measurement system, leading to the creation of several homogenized data sets. In this work, we evaluate the agreement between MSU and homogenized radiosonde data sets on multiyear (predominantly 5-year) time scales and find that MSU data sets are often more similar to each other than to radiosonde data sets and vice versa. Furthermore, on these times scales the differences between MSU data sets are often not larger than published internal uncertainty estimates for the RSS product alone and therefore may not be statistically significant when the internal uncertainty in each data set is taken into account. Given the data limitations it is concluded that using radiosondes to validate multidecadal-scale trends in MSU data, or vice versa, or trying to use such metrics alone to pick a ‘winner’ is an ill-conditioned approach and has limited utility without one or more of additional independent measurements, or methodological, or physical analysis.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: atmospheric temperature; climate change; radiosonde; satellite;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 6490
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1029/2012JD017710
    Depositing User: Peter Thorne
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 09:39
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page

    Downloads

    Downloads per month over past year